The thing about sushi restaurants in NYC is that it seems like there’s never any in-between. Either you’re shelling out Nobu-level moolah for the real deal bluefin, or you’re slumming it at the neighborhood sushi spot, and never really sure what kind of fish is actually rolling your way. Only a handful of spots reliably bridge that gap between the corner booth at Blue Ribbon and a blue-plate special.
One new spot stepping up to the plate with interesting but affordable sushi is Silver Rice in Crown Heights. This sliver of a space serves up no-cheating classics like a California chock full of real crab meat, heavy on the rice (white or flax seed) and light on the seaweed, and at very decent prices ($4.95-$6.50 a roll), especially considering the giant size of each roll. On the less traditional side, their slightly more expensive ($7.95-$9.75) special rolls range from a fish-free macrobiotic roll (a pâté made of beet, cashews, ginger and agave, rolled up with avocado and kale) to a delicious tuna tartare, the ample serving of fish spiced up by pickled daikon and scallions. A flavor-happy salmon roll piles on jalapeno, kelp, and a honey-ginger vinaigrette, while the nanoharia features broccoli rabe, omelet slices, and a spicy karachi mustard. There’s also a special roll each day, and I particularly enjoyed biting into a crunchy roll of avocado, asparagus, salmon and cucumber sprinkled with crispy bits of tempura.
But interestingly, few diners on the night I stopped in to the tiny space—a six-seat counter plus a small sidewalk patio—seemed interested in sushi. More popular were the “silver rice cups,” sashimi layered over rice, and the chirashi, with a chef’s choice of fish and vegetables arranged atop a bowl of rice. Whether served over rice or rolled in it, every dish I tried was solid—definitely a cut above your neighborhood sushi spot, without raising prices very much at all.
Elsewhere, there’s a house sake and beer, with healthful drink options like an apple-cucumber-kale-lemon green juice, and more fun ones like a green tea milkshake, and even miso ice cream. Open only for dinner at the time being, Silver Rice plans to introduce more small plates to go along with the sushi, and brunch service is coming soon.
Silver Rice, 638 Park Place, near Franklin; 718-398-8200